Friday 27 August 2010

"Corporate welfare" questioned over HP jobs subsidy

PC Pro is reporting concerns about whether the 700 "new" jobs HP is creating in Scotland are really new at all, or whether the company is merely making redundancies and then pocketing public subsidies to hire new staff.

This is not a new issue. Back in 2005, the Amicus Policy Conference passed "Composite 1" on Manufacturing, which (amongst other things) decided to:

Campaign for Government powers to stop companies coming to the UK, obtaining national and local grants and then closing the company down when these are exhausted. Legislation is needed to force companies to stay in a region for up to ten years to allow for community stability and security.

At a time when there is so much government and media effort to stigmatise and scapegoat ordinary people who have been thrown out of work and are reliant on benefits, and young people who have left education to face a barren job market, it is worth remembering how much corporations pocket in grants and tax breaks (what Michael Moore calls "Corporate Welfare" in the US) and the many billions of tax avoided by the very rich.